A Perfect Holiday in Grainau: Tobogganing on Mount Zugspitze

 // by Sonja Wilms
Rodeln auf der Zugspitze
Thursday, 04 November 2021

You can experience the ultimate snow fun on the slopes without even having to put on your skis or snowboard on. How? Try out the toboggan runs on Mount Zugspitze. That's exactly what we plan to do today.

10:30 am: The Eibsee bus brings us to Lake Eibsee. There we take the cablecar up to Mount Zugspitze. As usual, the cablecar attendant has a couple of witty sayings in store, so it's a relaxed ride once again. At the mid point, a slight murmur goes through the cabin as it makes a brief swerve, while the cameras and smartphones around us click all the once to catch the increasingly beautiful views of the snow-covered Alps.

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11:30 am: As we arrive on the summit, the first thing we do is a visit to the viewing platform. Somehow you can never get enough of this fantastic view. Here, our smartphones and cameras click as well - for the winter greetings that would later be sent to the family and friends. However, we have to say goodbye to the amazing view, as we still have our slope experience before us.

12:00 pm: At the toboggan hut each of us gets a scoopjet - here in Grainau you call them 'Zipfelbob'. They cost € 8.00 per person. Next, we are asked if we need a helmet or ski goggles. Nope - we're just going tobogganing after all! Just a normal winter hat and sunglasses should be enough. As we leave the toboggan hut, we go directly to the starting point of the runway, and then - ready, steady, go! My mate drives ahead and I start a few seconds later, trying to keep a safe interval. Wow, I didn't expect that much speed. The wind slowly rips my winter hat off my head, the snow splashes violently in my face, and just a couple of seconds after the start I cannot see anything at all through my sunglasses. I try to hold the 'bob' with one hand and my hat with the other. Hm, how does steering actually work? Somehow I manage to get through the first few curves, it was a near miss, but I'm just over the bend. But the worst is still coming: as I reach the lower section of the run, my hat no longer holds on my head. It lands in the snow, while I'm desperately trying to go through the steep curves, hoping to reach the end of the run safely.

This is what it looks like

Done - we have survived the first descent, but how! We both look as if we had been bathing in the snow. Our hair is full of snow and slightly iced, the sunglasses are thoroughly decorated with snow and ice crystals, so we can hardly use them. Fortunately, the next part feels a bit warmer, as we take the chairlift back to the starting point.

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12:30 pm: As we reach the top again, we trudge back to the toboggan hut - to get two helmets and two ski goggles. They cost € 10.00 per person. Additionally we ask for braking tips. This should be easy: just pull the handle upwards. Okay, let's try it again... Back at the run start we feel somewhat safer this time. The helmet fits, the ski goggles wobble a bit, but they still offer better protection than the sunglasses. This time I go first. The upper segment of the run goes well, then  suddenly there are people on the slope. Braking?? Doesn't really work with pulling upwards. At this speed the ejection is the only thing that really helps. But, with a soft landing and protected with a helmet a few turns in the snow are not a big thing.

As soon as the slope is free again, we can continue. In the lower section, you still have to keep your hat in mind. My buddy is already done with that, however, an ejection was needed here as well. The second descent was successful, so now we yearn for more.

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3:00 pm: So we did it many more times, sometimes being knocked out of the curves, so wearing a helmet was just the right decision. I think our falls were certainly funny to watch for some skiers next to the toboggan run. Those crazy slides and splashing in the snow are really something I haven't experienced for ages! Anyway, everything turned out well and we had great fun.

Watch Video: A Day on Mount Zugspitze

Our conclusion: Tobogganing on the Zugspitze is real madness, so it's definitely not the last time for us to exchange our skis for that 'Zipfelbob' thing. Maybe we would finally get it how the steering and braking works. After returning our rental equipment to the toboggan hut, we treat ourselves to a hot drink to celebrate our first tobogganing experience.

3:30 pm: With the cogwheel train we comfortably arrive back to Grainau. Now it's time to relax a bit before we go bar hopping in Garmisch tonight.

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The Badersee Blog: More Winter in the Alpine Village of Grainau!